Cinemap's 2011 Year in Review

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Michael Fassbender | Ryan Gosling
X-men: First Class, Shame, A Dangerous Method | Ides of March, Drive, Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Emma Stone | Jessica Chastain
Crazy, Stupid, Love., The Help, Friends with Benefits | The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Help, Coriolanus

3D wuz here: 3D took a leap further this year, with some of the best effects since that blue Pocahontas movie came out: Hugo and The adventures of Tintin definitely made it worthwhile to see them in 3D.

Retrospective films for film devotees: Hugo resurrected George Méliès' films, The Artist re-framed silence films, Drive went all 80s, and Le Havre paid breathtaking visual homage to classic French cinema.

Apocalypse now: 2012 is coming, and our filmmakers were very concerned with "the end," as evident in Take Shelter, Contagion, and Melancholia. I'll add Attack the block and Super 8, since they dealt with aliens, and we all know aliens = end of Earth!

Year of the dog: In particular, it was the year of the Jack Russell. The IT dog appeared - and stole scenes from its costars - in The adventures of Tintin, The Artist, Le Havre, and Attack the block.

Cinemapsychologia's version of the Oscars ballot, with best director category expanded to 10 - 2011 was that good! (June 13, 2012 edit: added PINA)

Top 10
01. Jodái-e Náder az Simin (A separation; Farhadi, 2011) ****1/2
"Iran's official entry for Foreign Film Oscar is a sophisticated, nuanced, meaningful portrait of Iran as it wrestles class, religion, gender, and the wheel of modernity in the frontier of its people's home."
02. Le Gamin au vélo (The kid with a bike; Dardene & Dardene, 2011) ****1/2
"It was sweet, without the saccharine, tough without the embellishment, and heartbreaking without the melodrama."
03. Drive (Refn, 2011) ****1/2
"Ryan Gosling stamped his "forever" with an impeccable "Driver." This is what cinema with a pulse looks like."
04. Pina (Wenders, 2011) ****1/2
I cried. It's indescribable what watching Pina was like. It was worth every 3D penny I spent on it.
05. Le Havre (Kaurismäki, 2011) ****
"Sometimes, a film is a romanticized version of a dream of a true emotion. This was such a film, and gosh darn what an absolute delight it was."
06. Take Shelter (Nichols, 2011) ****
"Moody, deeply felt portrait of a loving family man's descend into insanity - or is it clarity? Michael Shannon delivered an intricate, intense performance to match Jessica Chastain's best of the year."
07. Attack the block (Cornish, 2011) ****
"This funtastic film was recommended to me by a videostore clerk: "it's like aliens versus the kids from The Wire." What more do you want?"
08. Margin Call (Chandor, 2011) ****
"A clever, well-paced, well-acted account of the beginning of the economic crisis."
09. Melancholia (von Trier, 2011) ****
"A tour de force of a hell-before-the-apocalypse film."
10. Project Nim (Marsh, 2011) ****
"Rise of Planet of the Apes came to life - except, there was no rising, only a heart-breaking web of tragic consequences of misguided human curiosity and short-sighted negligence."

Grin & Pulse
The most fun I had watching a movie this past year
Attack the block
The muppets
Le Havre
The adventures of Tintin

Jean Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, Le Gamin au vélo
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation
Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive
Wim Wenders, Pina
Aki Kaurismäki, Le Havre

Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
 Lars von Trier, Melancholia
Julia Leigh, Sleeping Beauty
Steven Spielberg, The Adventures of Tintin
Joe Cornish, Attack the block

Ryan Gosling, Drive
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Thomas Doret, Le Gamin au vélo
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
Sareh Bayat, A separation

Peter Mullan, Tyrannosaur
Aggeliki Papoulia, Alps
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Michelle Williams, My week with Marilyn
Jeremy Irons, Margin Call

A Separation
Margin Call
Take Shelter
Le Gamin au vélo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A Separation
Take Shelter
Le Gamin au vélo
The girl with the dragon tattoo

The Tree of life
Sleeping Beauty
Le Havre

Art Direction
Le Havre
Sleeping Beauty
The skin I live in

The Adventures of Tintin
The Artist

Take shelter
The Turin Horse
The girl with the dragon tattoo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The girl with the dragon tattoo
The muppets

Uncharted (yet to be seen)
We need to talk about Kevin
Albert Nobbs
The Iron Lady
Chico & Rita


Drive (Refn, 2011)
Le Gamin au vélo (The kid with a bike; Dardene & Dardene, 2011)
Jodái-e Náder az Simin (A separation; Farhadi, 2011)

Pina (Wenders, 2011)

Attack the block (Cornish, 2011)
Le Havre (Kaurismäki, 2011)
Margin call (Chandor, 2011)
Melancholia (von Trier, 2011)
Project Nim (Marsh, 2011)
Take shelter (Nichols, 2011)

The Artist (Hazanavicius, 2011)
The boy Mir: 10 years in Afghanistan (Grabsky , 2011)
Dernier étage gauche gauche (Top floor, Left Wing; Cianci, 2011)
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (Herzog & Vasyokov, 2011)
The Muppets (Bobin, 2011)
Shame (McQueen, 2011)
Sleeping Beauty (Leigh, 2011)
Take this Waltz (Polley, 2011)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alfredson, 2011)
The tree of life (Malick, 2011)
The trip (Winterbottom, 2011)
We Were Here (Weissman & Weber, 2011)

A dangerous method (Cronenberg, 2011)
The adventures of Tintin (Spielberg, 2011)
Alps (Lanthimos, 2011)
Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once upon a time in Anatolia; Ceylan, 2011)
Buck (Meehl, 201!)
Contagion (Soderbergh, 2011)
The Girl with the Dragon tattoo (Fincher, 2011)
Michael (Schleinzer, 2011)
Midnight in Paris (Allen, 2011)
Miss Bala (Naranjo, 2011)
Moneyball (Miller, 2011)
My week with Marilyn (Curtis, 2011)
La piel que habito (The skin I live in; Almodóvar, 2011)
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Wyatt, 2011)
Starbuck (Scott, 2011)
Super 8 (Abrams, 2011)
Tyrannosaur (Considine, 2011)
Weekend (Haigh, 2011)

50/50 (Levine, 2011)
A torinói ló (The Turin Horse; Tarr, 2011)
Crazy, Stupid, Love (Ficarra, 2011)
The Descendants (Payne, 2011)
Elena (Zvyagintsev, 2011)
The green hornet (Gondry, 2011)
Hanna (Wright, 2011)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (Yates, 2011)
The help (Taylor, 2011)
He'arat Shulayim (Footnote; Cedar, 2011)
Hugo (Scorsese, 2011)
The ides of March (Clooney, 2011)
Like Crazy (Doremus, 2011)
Martha Marcy May Marlene (Durkin, 2011)
Rango (Verbinski, 2011)
Source Code (Jones, 2011)

X-men: First class (Vaughn, 2011)
Bad Teacher (Kasdan, 2011)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (Nelson, 2011)

The Adjustment Bureau (Nolfi; 2011)

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4 Response to Cinemap's 2011 Year in Review

February 12, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Jealous. I haven't even seen half of the Best Picture nominees! Hugo and The Artist don't even come out here until March. :(

Anyway, I haven't seen most of your top choices so I can't really comment much.. I was also looking at what I've seen and of what you haven't seen I'd recommend checking out Cedar Rapids (a minor film, but very enjoyable) and Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

February 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I've seen Cave of Forgotten Dreams - that came out in 2010! Aw, Swedes. *pets*

When I saw The Artist at VIFF, I knew it'd be a hit with the Academy. It's a huge crowd pleaser. It's a very well crafted fluff - not much substance to speak of but it's got so much charms. And what guts it was to invest in a silent film, you know? As much as I know it's just fluff, I'd recommend it over Hugo, an uneven, clunky film with only one brilliant part to speak of.

February 14, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Cave of Forgotten Dreams didn't open until last summer so "officially" it's a 2011 release. It was eligible for this year's Oscars so I think of it as a 2011 movie, anyway!

I still want to see Hugo, despite your lukewarm reaction to it. I was never that excited to see it in the first place, but with 11 Oscar nominations I obviously have to check it out. If nothing else, it'll at least be easy on the eyes.

As for the films on your top ten I've seen.. Liked Drive, though not as much as everyone else. Liked Attack the Block even though scary monsters aren't my cup of tea.. I knew it'd be something you'd like though. Melancholia I have mixed feelings about. I thought the first half was kind of a snooze, yet the second half was totally riveting.

And that's it! How sad.

February 18, 2012 at 2:48 AM

Jiminy cricket! You are right. It doesn't crack the top 10 though, so that's okay. It was incredible in certain parts?

I think if you're going to see Hugo, see it in 3D. Otherwise, it's not worth it. Unlike Drive and Melancholia, which are great no matter how small the screen. :D


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